Operations

How To Strengthen Your Customer Service

Posted on December 2, 2014 by Sara Eastwood-McLean - Also by this author

I’m hearing a lot of angst about Uber throughout the industry and talk of what should be done. One solution always has been with us: Customer experience.

That’s what builds brand loyalty and ensures your clients will stay with you for the long haul. As an industry, we must make sure we don’t lose focus on our core values of excellent customer service that creates positive experiences.

With such principles in place, you can pursue innovations such as mobile technology, network to build leads and generate more inbound work, hire and try to retain chauffeurs in a fickle workforce, and manage disruptive changes.
 
In today’s hyper-competitive global economy, many companies unfortunately neglect the customer experience, opting to compete on price and volume. Therefore, it’s no wonder customers aren’t building loyalties, and leave for the next new hip thing, such as Uber.

Management often believes that a customer-centric strategy is “common sense.” But if it were common sense, it would be commonplace; service providers would be racking up positive experiences instead of losing customers. Just look at those brands that get it: Four Seasons, Disney and Emirates Airlines. They are serious about customer experience and approach it like a science.

Another trap for business owners is an over-emphasis on managing a reputation. Despite the slow economic recovery, the popularity of customer engagement through social media, and the mobile technology shift, too many company leaders are worrying about image. They go to every networking event and mingle with the big names, but who is minding the store? While networking is a vital part of business building, the priority at group gatherings should be on learning more to improve service quality for a better-than-expected customer experience, and not just crafting informal “buzz” about your business.

Customer relationships should never be a secondary or a lower rung priority. It must be front and center. With increased access to information, competition and real-time opinions, providing an exceptional customer experience is the cornerstone to keeping clients and attracting more. It is the crux of a successful service-oriented company.

As this industry bids 2014 farewell and we look forward to an even better year, make sure that top-notch customer service stands atop the to-do list for your operations.

COLD HARD FACTS ABOUT THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

These sobering numbers on customer behavior show why you can’t neglect providing positive experiences:

  • 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain, however 91% of those will simply leave and never come back.
  • For every customer complaint there are 26 other unhappy customers who have remained silent.
  • 89% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after experiencing poor customer service.
  • Customers who rate you 5 on a scale from 1 to 5, are six times more likely to buy from you again, compared to “only” giving you a score of 4.8.
  • 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.
  • A customer is four times more likely to buy from a competitor if the problem is service related vs. price or
  • product related.
  • It costs 6-7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one.
  • 50% of consumers give a brand only one week to respond to a question before they stop doing business with them.
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